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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Silver Lake’s Flore remains a go-to mainstay for omnivores and vegans alike

Rice Bowl/Valentina Silva

By Valentina Silva

Vegan food has become quite the rage in past few years, breaking through to the mainstream with chains like Native Foods, Veggie Grill and Real Food Daily. Still, by my estimations, none of them have managed to even come close to Silver Lake’s Flore Vegan Cuisine. This mainstay cafe has been a go-to for omnivores and vegans, alike, for years because it’s so damn good. The comfort-driven menu, grounded in organic ingredients, has all the hits, from sloppy burgers and classic sandwiches to fat burritos and breakfast til 1 pm.

I find it hard to veer from Flore’s generally gluttonous sandwiches. The Tempeh Tu-No Melt is close to the real thing but stands on its own, plus any deviation is made up for by the fact that it isn’t chock-full of mercury. Chunky with ideal crunch, the tuna-like tempeh mixture is melted with cashew cheese, which adds a luscious texture and slightly sweet flavor. It does the same for the Tempeh Reuben, grilled on rye and absolutely gooey with layers of cheese, sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing. All sandwiches come with mixed green salad or potato salad.

But all is not audacious at Flore. Their use of organic ingredients really shines with their salads and rice bowls, which are more understated than their sandwiches, burgers and burritos but still designed to satisfy. The Mediterranean and taco salads are no brainers, but even the raw salads, loaded with leafy greens and fruit, aim to please with the addition of healthy fats, like walnuts, avocado and bold dressings. Likewise the Basmati Brown Rice Bowl gratifies with its mixture of kale, sunflower seeds, daikon sprouts and teriyaki seitan. Tahini and tamari sauces make it pop.

Desserts—the cakes in particular—should not be passed up, and alone are justification for a visit. The Chocolate Strawberry Cake and Lemon Berry Cake are two standouts. Both have dense but moist textures and thick, sugary frosting. Fresh berries spill out from between the layers, adding delectable contrast to the sweet richness. You also can’t go wrong with the tart and creamy Raw Key Lime Pie.

–Valentina

Strawberry Cake/Valentina Silva

Flore Vegan Cuisine
3818 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake

Valentina Silva writes about food and restaurants. You can also find Valentina’s reviews and stories on her blog, Eastside Food Bites.

8 comments

  1. Flore is expensive, but worth it times a million.

  2. Except they aren’t organic. False claims. You can see the boxes of conventionally grown produce from the register, and all the fruit in the case have conventional grown stickers. Too bad.

    • Oh, SNAP.

      That’s kind of a sad thing to misrepresent.

    • Heya, I work at Flore and it is at least 80% organic at all times. There are times of the year when sourcing certain produce organically daily is not possible without changing the menu but I do know that all of our soy and dry goods are 100% organic 100% of the time. If you want to know if there is anything that is on your order that wasn’t available organic we will be happy to tell you and can offer replacements.

  3. I love Flore! So delicious!

  4. I’ve wanted to eat here, but both times the service was so terrible that I felt like my business wasn’t even welcomed. :(

    • Welcome to Silver Lake. This is true of about 90% of the restaurants in the area. Next time you eat somewhere on this side of town, take note and see if anyone greets you when you walk in. It is part of the “no care” or “blassey blah” attitude of “the eastside”. You should be lucky that they are open and serve you food… at least in their mind.

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